skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Colin Crump

Dr Colin Crump

University Lecturer

Department of Pathology
University of Cambridge
Tennis Court Road

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 763423

Research themes


Virus assembly and egress

Research Interests

Crump Research 1
Figure 1: Electron micrograph of a herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) particle.
Our laboratory studies the assembly and egress of viruses with a focus on the cellular mechanisms utilised and modified by viruses during their replication. We primarily study two families of important human pathogens: herpesviruses and polyomaviruses. 

Herpesviruses are large (~200nm) and complex enveloped dsDNA viruses that are ubiquitous pathogens of vertebrates and establish life-long latent infections in their hosts. Infections by the nine known human herpesviruses are associated with many serious diseases including certain lymphomas and life-threatening conditions in immuno-compromised patients. The assembly of herpesviruses is known to involve the budding of nucleocapsids, together with the complex layer of tegument proteins, at membranes derived from post-Golgi endocytic compartments. Once formed, the membrane-bound compartments containing the mature virions undergo exocytosis to release infectious viruses from the cell.

Polyomaviruses are small (~45nm) non-enveloped dsDNA viruses that are ubiquitous pathogens in humans and can establish life-long persistent infections with periodic virus shedding. While polyomavirus infections are generally benign in immuno-competent hosts they are known to cause serious disease in immuno-compromised patients including haemorrhagic cystitis, polyomavirus-associated nephropathy, Merkel cell carcinoma, and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Crump Research 2
Figure 2: Immunofluorescence image of a cell infected with herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1). The localisation of two different major viral structural proteins is shown in green and red

Examples of current ongoing projects in the lab are:

  1. Host cell modulation by herpesvirus tegument proteins
  2. Cellular pathways involved in polyomavirus egress
  3. Viral and cellular mechanisms of herpesvirus secretion
  4. Super-resolution microscopy imaging of the structure and assembly of viruses in cells
  5. Host cell modulation by polyomavirus infection
  • Post doctoral research associate:
    Dr Tim Soh
  • Graduate Students:
    Laura Williamson, Firoz Ahmed
  • Chief Research Laboratory Technician:
    Viv Connor

Key Publications

  1. Albecka A, Laine RF, Janssen AFJ, Kaminski CF, Crump CM. (2015) HSV-1 glycoproteins are delivered to virus assembly sites through dynamin-dependent endocytosis. Traffic, 17(1):21-39. doi: 10.1111/tra.12340
  2. Evans GL, Caller LG, Foster V, Crump CM. (2015) Anion homeostasis is important for non-lytic release of BK polyomavirus from infected cells. Open Biol. 5: 150041.
  3. Lau SY, Crump CM. (2015) HSV-1 gM and the gK/pUL20 complex are important for the localization of gD and gH/L to viral assembly sites. Viruses. Mar 4;7(3):915-38.
  4. Laine RF, Albecka A, van de Linde S, Rees EJ, Crump CM, Kaminski CF. (2015) Structural analysis of herpes simplex virus by optical super-resolution imaging. Nat Commun. Jan 22;6:5980
  5. Zenner HL, Mauricio R, Banting G, Crump CM. (2013) Herpes simplex virus type-1 counteracts tetherin restriction via its virion host shutoff activity. J. Virol. 87: 13115-23